Facebook has made a great effort this year to increase its level of international outreach, and Turkey has taken note. Especially lately.
During the first of of the year, national penetration was lingering at about 4.5% with about 3 million of Turkey’s 71 million people signed up for and actively using Facbeook. During Q3 and Q4 of this year, however, Facebook exploded, adding 4.5 million more people to its Turkish audience. As of today, the total number of Turkish users on Facebook is about 10.6% of the entire population, or approximately 7.5 million people.
With these numbers, Turkey has launched into the top five most represented countries on Facebook. It is surpassed by the U.S. (41 millions users), United Kingdom (14.8 million users), and Canada (10.7 million users). Behind Turkey is France with close to 6.3 million users.
With the growth in audience size in Turkey, the Facebook Platform’s spread has also followed. There are now 760 Turkish apps available in the applications directory. The top ten most popular apps list includes a video sharing app (think Turkish YouTube meets Facebook), a Sim City-esque game called “My City” and an app called Online People that facilitates new connections between Turkish-speaking strangers on Facebook.
If you’re a developer or marketer interested in building, buying, or selling a Turkish Facebook app, you’ll find that the application marketplace for such apps is very active on the developer’s forum, with one user, “tolgafiratoglu” leading most of the Turkish app threads on the discussion boards.
The social networking scene in Turkey seems to be in flux with an increased level of engagement on both Facebook and the Facebook Platform. We’re not only looking forward to seeing Facebook’s growth in Turkey in 2009, but also where all of these trends will lead.